Australian Open: Rohan Bopanna uncertain as he awaits news of COVID-hit partner

Rohan Bopanna’s Australian Open doubles team-mate Joao Sousa is reportedly stuck in Barcelona after testing COVID-positive.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna’s chances of playing the 2021 Australian Open took a hit as there was uncertainty surrounding his doubles partner Joao Sousa of Portugal.

Sousa has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and is stuck in Barcelona at present.

“My partner is still in Barcelona. Someone told me he has tested positive and they are trying to figure out what it is. So, if he doesn’t come here, I don’t even know who I’m playing with,” Bopanna told the Hindustan Times on Monday.

The situation could mean that Rohan Bopanna will be forced to find a new partner within the bio-bubble before the season’s first Grand Slam starts February 8.

“There aren’t any players to find. If somebody else’s partner tests positive and he can’t play, then I can sign up with him. But even then, we do not directly go into the main draw,” added the Indian tennis ace.

“That is a grey area because initially, the organisers said that no player can enter Melbourne after January 16. Now they are maybe looking to have a few players come in. It is a tough situation.”

It has been a tough few days for the 40-year-old Rohan Bopanna since he arrived in Melbourne on January 16.

His coach Scott Davidoff had to be placed in strict quarantine as there were two positive cases on Davidoff’s flight from Los Angeles.

Rohan Bopanna was already in a 14-day quarantine when he was informed of a COVID-positive case on his flight from Doha to Melbourne. It forced him to be confined to his hotel room in strict quarantine – which prevented him from even training - for two weeks according to the protocols.

As a result, the world No. 38 in doubles will have to go into an ATP 250 event in Melbourne – which starts on January 31 – without any training and likely in need of a new partner.

“January 30 is when my quarantine ends, and 31st is when the first tournament starts. So I go straight into the tournament,” said Bopanna.

“Whatever good I’ve done in the off-season training to come here strong and fit, all of it goes out of the window. It’s not an ideal scenario.”